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-   -   Logging in as root. (

ash4stuff 09-08-2003 09:26 AM

Lets say you want to use emacs to edit a file, like the /etc/fstab, where you need root permissions to edit. in a terminal:

$ su root
$ password: verysecurepassword :D
$ emacs /etc/fstab

*after editing
$ exit

your back to your user.

lets say your in gnome and want to open nautilus, do some stuff but need root permissions.

su root
nautilus & (the & is to make the new window "independent" it will not close when you close the console window)

and voila! you have a nautilus window with root permissions. want to run mozilla with root permissions, the same, (i dont see any reason to do so... just an example) In these examples only the new window i opened as root have root permissions, all the others stay the same. (at least in my debian woody, gnome -t unstable :D ) This is not windows where to do admin stuff you have to logout a user and login as admin. A single window in gnome can have different rights as others. And this is not like windows that will not allow you when you are about to do something stupid. As stated before, root = god in linux. I am also new to linux and this is one of the reasons why linux is so powerful.

There are several reasons why you dont want to work as root, if an exploit or virus (yes, there are also viruses, worms and trojans that can work under linux), gets into your sistem, you are very safe as long as you DONT work as root. And it is easier to mess something up as you might think, specially if your used to having a "MS babysitter".

for more info on viruses:

Tenover 09-08-2003 10:47 AM

Are there any keystroke logging-type viruses that work under Linux that can get the root password from logging your keystrokes when you "su"?

joseph 09-08-2003 08:27 PM


Originally posted by nuhn123
what is this about sueing and logging in as root how do you log in as root im getting linux in a few days and I was wondering.
Do you know, when you log in as root in usually work is like you are loging in with time bomb in your hand, when you do something careless, the bomb in your hand will explode anytime, and it can damege all of your stuff. So like when you login as root, you are the king of the king, you have all time bomb in your hand.

Root is the SUPERUSER like an administrator in WINDOWS.
Log in as root when you want to do system maintenance but ofcourse you SU in the machine or never log in as root.

if you already login as another user just type in the prompt

xxxxxxxxxxx(your Password)

ash4stuff 09-09-2003 02:54 AM

As far as i know there are very little viruses for linux, no keystrokeloggin that i am aware of. But I think it would be very hard, a virus like that would only work if it had root priveleges to alter sistem files for the keystroke logging. So if there were such a virus, it would only work if you execute it if you as root!

Never work as root, and very important, root should NEVER get external emails, and never read emails as root!

Root as said only for administrative work... Its not that much work just to type in su root and a password when you need something special, you dont have to logout and in again... linux is a multiuser system!

blacksoul 09-09-2003 10:10 PM

Okay, so I'm going to quit using root as my main account, one question though. Is there a way to switch all my settings/preferences? I tried copying all my .kde directories and .qt and .mplayer, etc, chown'd them to the correct user/group and tried restarting kde as the other user and it wouldn't get past the first part of the kde startup. :( Are there any .directories that I _shouldn't_ move over to the other user?

Thanks for all the information anyhow. :D

Khalinsar 09-10-2003 06:37 AM

That's the same thing I wanna know.
I tryed copying too and it didn't work.

nuhn123 09-10-2003 07:06 AM

how do know
how do I know IM logged in as root in gnome

ash4stuff 09-15-2003 03:13 AM

to know how whats the userid of the person who is currently logged on, you can open a console window and type:


and it responds with the user in question.

and i think with the command "who" you can see all the users that are logged on.

But in gnome there is normally a link to your home, and if you are root its says: roots home. At least on my gnome.


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